January 6, 2012
January 11, 2012

Yes, we had over 20 people in class again on Sunday. And yes, there was no met-con at the end. But no, that’s not what I’m going to focus.  Nor am I going to focus on the  fact that the 10AM class got a double dose of explosive movements followed by a little extra barbell strength work, although I’ll touch on that a little later. Instead, I’m opening today’s blog-post with a little discussion about the new and improved 9AM class.


A little over a month ago, we were noticing a distinct dichotomy in the people coming to the 9AM class: those who were there for their first time, and those who had been a few times (or even a few months), but still wanted some refreshers and help cleaning up some of the more complex movements. With this in mind, we decided to split the class in two separate, but somewhat complimentary pieces.

The first half remains an Intro class for the brand new and uninitiated. The second half of class has been restructured as the new Elements class. The purpose behind the Elements course is to review a few of the basic, but slightly more complex, movements in CrossFit and then showing how those base exercises translate into more complex lifts and movements. The Elements class is specifically meant for those who are still relatively new to CrossFit and need to take a little extra time outside of normal classes to focus on practicing some movements they may still be struggling with. The Elements curriculum consists of the following 3 groupings:

  1.  Front Squat, Clean, and Hollow Position; 
  2. Overhead Squat, Snatch, Jump Rope and Double Under; and, 
  3. Push Press & Push Jerk, Kettlebell Swing, and Kipping.

Although we’ve give through a few trial runs, Coach Sara took the lead this past Sunday for the first full-fledged class. Sara’s a great resource for us, having intimate knowledge of both the CrossFit and Olympic lifting realms, and it’s exciting to see her helping out in this capacity. Having run through the first grouping at least twice in the past month, Sara took Sunday’s Elements class through the second grouping of OHS and Snatch, with Steph and Sara teaming up to review some jump rope and double under pointers.

 Class was a true success, and we’re excited to keep the rotation going. Next week we’ll be reviewing the Push Press/Push Jerk, Kettlebell Swing, and some kipping, but just to help everyone keep up, we’ll post the upcoming Element’s curriculum here at the end of the Thursday class blog-post. Two final notes, though: (1) there is no workout in the Elements class, and movements will be performed with little to no weight (this is a skill review class – a back to basics, if you will – which leads me to the second point…); and (2) the Elements class is for beginners, those who are relatively new to CF and struggling to grasp the set-up and execution of these movements – if you understand a movement but perhaps aren’t quite executing it perfectly yet, then Elements is not for you. If you’re not sure which group you fall into, please don’t hesitate to ask.


As stated above, the 10AM class was rocking with at least 23 people showing up for the day. After a involved warmup on the court, things moved back upstairs for the remaining 3 portions of class.

 Explosive Strength 1: 5 x 2 Seated Box Jumps

Starting in a seated position, where the tops of your thighs are at or just below parallel, lift your feet off the ground while leaning back slightly, and then quickly rock forward, slam your feet down, and explode off the box into a full vertical jump onto the other box. Remember to land light, absorbing your landing with soft knees.

The big focus on Sunday was driving upwards as soon as the feet made contact with the floor – as opposed to allowing the feet to flatten out, the torso to lean forward and the butt to lift up from the box slightly, and then getting tensing up and getting ready to jump.

 Explosive Strength 2: 10 x 2 Power Cleans x 90 seconds

The goal was to warm-up to a weight that was 80% of your 1RM, and then, using that weight, perform 2 power cleans every 90 seconds for a total of 10 sets. With three people to a bar, this gave everyone a 3o second window in which to perform both of their reps – not a super tight window, but definitely not enough time to dawdle.

 Accessory Strength: Barbell Lunges 

 Class closed out with one practice warm-up set of alternating barbell lunges followed by 2 work sets at roughly 50% of each person’s power clean weight. Exact numbers for the lunges were left up to the individual, but the minimum was set at 8 reps per leg, and the maximum at 15 reps per leg.

Great work as always, especially with the chaos and confusion of the Paleo Challenge kick-off taking place on Sunday. Sorry I missed everyone, but I do have to say getting coaching tips from Chris Spealler did go a little way to alleviating my sense of separation from the rest of CFDC. See you all on Tuesday.



  1. SBV says:

    This was an old school CFDC power-fest. Seated box jumps always bring out trash talking and laughter. Tom A. was skying yesterday and stuck the landing on a 30 inch box plus a 45# bumper plate. Ethan was in “beast mode” on the power cleans and made my 80kg seem light. I got some revenge on the lunges; unfortunately, lunges aren’t nearly as cool as horsing around monster power cleans.

    Announcement: Amelia, Steph, Ben, and I will be forming a team for the CF Dupont/CF Balance/CFDC Smackdown on February 4th. This team has been formed to speficially counter-act Ethan’s team. Amelia claims she “can’t do a bunch of basic movements.” Steph says she can’t deadlift. Ben can’t do heavy pressing movements. I can’t touch my toes. But, as a team, we’ll be great!

  2. Ethan says:

    SBV is selling himself short. He brought the ruckus in the power cleans and got 30(I think) on both sets of the lunges. Very impressive.

    The hammer was killing the box jumps per usual.

  3. Erica says:

    Super pumped to have Amelia back (obv) and worked with her and Steph on my favorite movement ever, totally genuine Chris and Tom too, :)~ I hit a PR (74#s) and maybe could have gone a little heavier, but my form is still not there. I felt like when I shrugged more effectively, the bar was too far from my body, and when I kept the bar close, I didn’t shrug right and pulled early. Phoooey, work in progress.

    The box jumps were, used the second lowest box and was able to crank out 30 lunges on each set.

    For the gym competition, I’m totally game to compete so if anyone is looking for an extra girl (or wants to start a team), holler! Otherwise, I will competing for the best cheerleader ever award and hope that massages are also a possible prize in that category

  4. Katie says:

    Sounds like Team SBV-Amelia-Steph-Ben will be Captain Planet-style…your powers have combined!! I look forward to cheering on all the CFDC teams as well as participating in the “going out” part of the day. :o)

    I was exhausted on Sunday, so just showing up was an accomplishment. I subbed regular box jumps for seated box jumps — and I managed to get up to 18″! It was a little terrifying, but now I know I can do it.

    I worked with Jen and Anna on the cleans, and we started at 45#, but I failed a couple times on the second or third set, so they were kind enough to bring the weight down to 35# for me, which was much more doable. We did 25# for the lunges, and I got 10 each leg on the first set and 11 on the second. (though I think I wasn’t quite low enough on a few of them…I’m trying to be nicer to my knees and not smack them on the floor, but it’s tough to know if I’m going low enough without doing that. If I start wearing kneepads, please don’t laugh at me…)

    Good class — I’m always amazed at how everyone makes it work with such a huge number of people! See everyone on Tuesday.

  5. edgy reggie says:

    Well, I kept my mouth shut (no smack talking, just lots of laughter with SBV, Tom “Hammer” A., “Easy E”, Mark, Peter, et al) and worked on my seated box jumps with a 24-inch box. I’m not at the 30-inch level…yet (but I am getting there).

    I worked with Peter and Richard on the power cleans. I used 135# (~60 kg), and it felt fine. I could have used a bit more weight, but I worked on clean-and-jerks the day before. Thus, I concentrated more on my technique (thanks for the coaching, Sara) for this session.

    I used 40 kg for the lunges, and it felt…okay. I realize that I do need to work on my lunge depth more, and I have been incorporating lunges (and split squats) on my weightlifting skill-work days.

    Another great CrossFit DC class in the books; the hits just keep on coming. 🙂

    I did Iyengar yoga later, and it was a great class that focused on a lot of hip stretching (which should also help my lunge depth).

    On another note: I bet that January 8 was a great day in the Brown/Merson household. 🙂

  6. Amelia says:

    Great to be back!
    Was not at 100% due to lots of eating in Argentina.

    Did seated box jumps on the second box with two plates.

    Definitely feeling the cleans and lunges today!

    And, I never said I can’t do basic movements, I said I can’t do the prescribed weight – just want to be clear on our team issues. I also can’t touch my toes.

  7. Steph says:

    Welcome back, Amelia!!

    We had so many people on Sunday! Props to our Fearless Leader for taking on the class alone! And to Sara for keeping time on the cleans while Brose was walking around correcting form.

    I’ve had to sit out on the seated box jumps ever since we started doing them in class and was pretty excited to give them a try yesterday now that I’m box-jumping again. It was quite daunting sitting and starring up to the boxes as they got higher. In the end I managed to jump the one Dre jumped in the picture, not sure how high it was.

    I worked with Amelia and Erica on the cleans and used 75lbs. I haven’t done a one-rep-max clean in a long time and probably should have gone heavier. Next time.

    We used the 45lb bar for the lunges and I did 2 sets of 30.

    See everyone tomorrow!

  8. TomandAmi says:

    Class was fun and Reg and I need two women to round out our as of now only ODB Team so Erica if you are game then we only need a fourth – anyone else. If you have never competed you should it is a rush and you can do more then you think.

  9. Sara says:

    Huge thank you to Steph for joining me, providing a second pair of eyes in the elements/skills class as well as stepping in when we got to the jump ropes.

    On seated box jumps I used the 24″ box with Dre, Jamie and Richard. by the 3 or 4th round I added 2 plates. I also encouraged Dre and Jamie to give the next higher box a try as they were both clearing the 2 plates easily. Both went for it and had no problems. I am not sure how high that box is but it is the same box Steph referred to. I hope to one day have enough spring to jump that box.

    I worked with Julia on the cleans. We used 55kg. I was focusing on getting comfortable pulling myself under by using Coach Choi’s comments from the day before. They were to stick the clean instead of trying to stand up too quickly with it. As a result I held the position for 1-2 seconds before standing up for each clean.

    I did not do any lunges on acount of my knee. 🙁

  10. Dian says:

    Thank you Sara for a fantastic review of OHS and Snatch. Thanks to Steph for all the great jump rope tips. I really like the addition of the skills review to the 9:00 Sunday class. I look forward to taking full advantage of those.

    Our group worked with 65lbs on the power cleans. We used 32lbs for the lunges. I completed 2 sets of 30 lunges.

  11. Dan Samarov says:

    Last minute here, anyone who doesn’t already have a team, want to put one together?